Teenager went to bed before reporting crash

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

A teenage driver who smashed into a wall in the early hours left the car and went to bed before reporting the crash, a court heard.

George Charnley (18) lost control of the Vauxhall Astra in Skipton Old Road in Colne and had to climb out of the passenger door as the driver’s side was substantially damaged. He had a friend with him in the vehicle. Both were unhurt.

Burnley magistrates were told how Charnley told police he had panicked, as it was the first accident he had had. He reported it when he woke up several hours later.

The defendant, a new driver, will keep his licence, after the bench gave him five points. The DVLA would have revoked his licence if he had received six or more.

Charnley, of Coniston Grove, Colne, admitted driving without due care and attention and failing to report an accident, on May 21st. He was fined £146 and must pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Mrs Tracy Yates (prosecuting) said the collision occurred at about 3-30am. The defendant had hit a stone wall and left the vehicle.

Police attended, the vehicle was protruding into the road and was removed to a recovery garage. Charnley reported the collision five hours later.

The defendant was interviewed and said he had gone to bed and fallen asleep and he rang the police when he woke up at 8am. He had no previous convictions.

Mr John Rusius (defending) told the hearing: “His mother tells me he is a good lad. He doesn’t get into trouble. He doesn’t get into bother.”

“For some reason, he skidded. It turns out later on he realised there were loose chippings on the road. He wasn’t aware of that at the time. He blames the road rather than himself. It’s really a momentary lapse of concentration.”

Mr Rusius said the defendant stopped at the scene, there was nobody to give details to and he left the car there.

Mr Rusius added: “He reported it as soon as he woke up, before people are even looking for him.”

“As far as culpability is concerned, he is not trying to circumvent the law. He added the defendant was working for a year and then going to university.”